Welcome back to Zootgamer’s guide to building a great Hearthstone deck. Whatever class you choose, there are some basic elements required in any well-rounded pro deck. Read on to see how everything from “game finishers” to “board clearing” is best utilized when deciding on the best cards to choose for your deck. Click HERE to find Part 1 of this guide!
Keeping your strategy consistent is the best way to see if your deck is good, great, or needs to scrapped immediately. It’s much harder to know if it’s bad luck, or a bad deck when you’re not consistently drawing the cards you expected to. This is why draw cards are so important. A good rule of thumb is to try to use draw cards that will also have a positive effect for you on the battlefield. For example, Mage’s Arcane Intellect card allows you to draw three cards for 3 mana, but it does nothing else. No minions added, no health gained, nothing, you wan’t to avoid using too many draw cards that do nothing else, unless you have absolutely no other alternative. Draw cards are REQUIRED in a good deck.
Heal cards will restore health or otherwise negate damage taken in some way. Both you AND your minions (especially the high damage, high health ones!) need healing. The most popular way to heal right now in Hearthstone is through added armor cards, armor is currently worth a little more than health for some classes, such as Warrior. A warrior has cards that synergize with armor, like Shield Slam which will damage a minion for the amount of armor you have, no damage taken by you whatsoever! Even the priest, with his healing hero power would do well to include minions that will restore health to himself and to other minions.
To clear the board is to destroy all enemy minions so that you may have the minion advantage. This can be devastating to an enemy that has “over extended” his/herself, meaning they stacked as many minions as they could on their side of the battlefield, with no way to replenish the army if a pro player like yourself was to destroy it all in one move. Sometimes it’s fairly easy to tell when an enemy has over extended himself, for example he may have 5 minions on the board but only 1 card in his hand. It’s a pretty safe bet to say that clearing the board will cause said enemy to shed a tear for his ruined plan. Almost every class has spells or minions to help kill multiple minions at once, it’s important to include these cards, but use them wisely. If you have no way to clear the board, especially in end game, you’re setting yourself up for a huge game finishing combo attack by the enemy.
After your well thought out strategy has brought you to end game, meaning you have 7-10 mana, it’s time to start pulling out the big guns. You’re going to want to use cards that will frighten your opponent, cards that will cause him to throw every spell at it in an effort to destroy the hell bringer. Take care to not include too many expensive powerful cards as you will only be able to play about 1 per turn, and with too many you will not have enough cheaper cards early-midgame. This is a crucial mistake many noobs make. Bigger is not ALWAYS better all the time. But when you have all the mana you need, start strategically pumping out the powerful minions. Protect them with a cheaper taunt minion, even if it will protect them for only one or two turns. Buff the hell outta them, slap a divine shield on there. The key is to overwhelm your enemy, an 8+ damage attack is absolutely devastating late game. Be careful of spells that will one hit destroy your powerful minion, like the Mage’s Polymorph that will turn your minion into a 1/1 sheep, regardless of Divine Shields or anything else. For this reason, it is also very important to not put too FEW powerful minions in your deck. Starting out with a medium powerful, perhaps low health, but still high damage minion is a great way to prematurely freak out enemies and waste their spells on it, leaving them open to the REAL DEAL.
So it’s mid-late game and you have your game finishers ready but wait…so does your opponent! You must also have defenses against the most powerful of minions, so that you’re not left open and ready for a huge blast to the face next turn. Spells that deal a high amount of damage are great for this, and many aren’t very expensive. The Mage’s Flamestrike is said by many to be over powered because doing four damage to ALL enemies can be seen as a board clearer as well as a nuke, add to that any spell damage and you’re looking at a serious game changing card. It’s not all about Mages though, Druid’s naturalize is only one itsy-bitsy mana and it destroys ANY minion, AND let’s you draw a card. Now that is an amazing way to destroy a troublesome minion.
This guide is just a start. There are many factors to consider when creating the ultimate deck, and as with any game that updates as often as Blizzard games do, your deck can become obsolete in as little as one patch. Keep practicing and fine-tuning your play style until you find the cards that work for you.
Written by Puff, a.k.a. Jean
A lifelong gamer, master healer, and freelance writer that’s currently making a home of Florida. Follow her on Twitter @PuffTheHealer for the occasional game related rant. Click here to find her articles on Zootgamer.